Top 10 worst driving habits in SA

 ·9 Jan 2016

Motorists in South Africa have developed bad driving habits due to a quicker pace of life, impatience, and technology distractions.

According to insurance company, Outsurance, it’s time to recognise the habits which put us in harm’s way and realise why they’re habits worth breaking.

The 10 worst driving habits:

  1. Too close for comfort

Do you keep a safe following distance? It’s easy to edge a little too close when you’re fending off other drivers who like to cut in front because they’re in a hurry. But, keeping a good following distance can help reduce the chances of having an accident, giving you enough space to react should the car in front of you suddenly brake.

2. I have indicators?

Every road user has somewhere to be and it’s each driver’s responsibility to let the vehicles around them know what they’re intending to do, by using their indicators. Misusing or not using your indicators at all can put you at serious risk. It’s more than just a courtesy to use your indicators, it’s a way to prevent misunderstandings and accidents.

3. Checking on the kids

It’s easy to become distracted when you have children in the car. Turning your attention away from the road to talk to or check on your children in the back seat is a bad driving habit. Rather find a place to stop and check on them.

4. This is my jam

The technology in cars is constantly improving; new music devices, cellphone connections and navigation systems. But these new gadgets, settings and options, can be distractions on the road.

5. Too fast or too slow

We all know speed kills. Driving too fast can cause you to lose control of your vehicle, putting you and all other road users in serious danger. But what you might not have considered is that driving too slowly can be just as much a threat on the roads as driving too fast.

It is extremely hazardous to drive dangerously slow into a lane where everyone is driving at the speed limit. Stick to the speed limit, and if we all drive according to the rules, the roads will run smoothly.

6. Let me answer this call quickly

You’re on the road, your phone rings and you think “I’ll answer and make it quick”. Accidents happen in the blink of an eye. Being on the phone impairs your driving ability and slows your reaction time because your focus is divided. Don’t let answering your phone while driving become a habit.

7. My way or the highway

There’s nothing worse than sitting in traffic after a long day to have people skip the long queue and push their way into your lane; the lane you waited in for half an hour. However irritated you may feel, you’re more likely to cause an accident by refusing to let them in.

Even though it’s about the principle, if letting that inconsiderate driver slip in front of you is the difference between getting home safely and a three car pile-up, letting them in and letting the frustration go is the safer option.

8. I’ll grab something on the way

Taking one hand away from the steering wheel to munch on a quick takeaway burger might not seem like such a terrible thing, but you should avoid making eating while driving a habit. It’s another distraction. If you eat while you’re driving, you’re not giving your full attention to what’s happening around you.

9. Makeup

Time is never on our side. It seems we’re always rushing from one place to the next. So we multitask. Applying makeup while driving is a good example.

If you’re closing one eye and looking in the mirror with the other, you have no eyes on the road. Don’t cause an accident because you ran out of time in the morning.

10. Spectator value

Human beings are curious creatures, which is why spectator value is a real problem. ‘Rubbernecking’, or slowing down to look at an incident on the road, is dangerous and could cause an accident of its own.

More on driving in SA

South Africa worst in the world for drunk driving

SA taxis are better at driving than you: expert

Driving safety test: handheld vs hands free mobile use

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